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A fragile, emaciated, half-naked, neglected gem of a parrot has come into my life

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Oak2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:16 PM
Original message
A fragile, emaciated, half-naked, neglected gem of a parrot has come into my life
as a consequence of a state confiscation and the efforts of several parrot rescue and rehab volunteers.

Buddy is the biggest psittacine cuddlebunny I've ever met. The person or persons who starved him are monsters (well technically he was fed, but he was fed food his species can't eat).

At some point someone did care enough to try to intervene in his plucking, but rather than address the underlying problems, they put a cone collar on him, which should never be used on this species, and so he has a big bald ring around his neck to go along with his plucked patches. He doesn't know "step up", is frightened by toys, and was frightened at the sight of a sprig of millet, but he does know kisses, and has told me in a quiet voice, "I love you". When in his cage or on his playpen he perches on the food dish with an iron grip, rarely moving off his chosen spot. He is extremely hungry, and has been eating so much I've had to intervene to slow him down. As I observe him I'm seeing physical movements that may be neurological in nature.

Seeing how debilitated he is I'm afraid Buddy might not have a long life (but then parrots are tough creatures, so he may surprise me). But whatever happens I do want to give him the good life he has so long deserved.

Unfortunately birds like Buddy are neglected and abused because people by them on impulse, after maybe reading the overly-glowing single page "fact" sheets at the pet store. Parrots are wild animals, and they're as smart as human children. They are extremely difficult animals to keep (that includes most of the species labeled "parakeets" -- Buddy is a Quaker Parrot, sometimes sold under the technically incorrect name "Quaker Parakeet"). Becoming a parrot owner (and doing it the right way) is a massive lifestyle change, and should never be done on impulse. Buddy I'm sure would agree.
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for taking him in...
You're a wonderful person. :)

And please keep us updated. :)
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. I hope having you to care for him will help Buddy a bunch! *hugs*
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Pool Hall Ace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. What a lovely human being you are to care for Buddy.
:loveya: You rule!
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flying rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. Now you will have to become a pirate.
Sorry that's how things like this work out.
Good on ya matey.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. You are terrific to give Buddy a new life!
My sister once adopted an African Grey and I regret to say that she did not care for it properly. I learned a lot about how complicated it is to care for these wonderful and intelligent animals while watching how unhappy hers was. Eventually she admitted she had no time for him and found him a new home. I hope the home she found was as good as the one Buddy now has!
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm sure he's MUCH happier now
I don't know a lot about parrots except that they're very smart and need a lot of interaction (I'm under the impression that not spending enough time with one is about the worst thing to do to a parrot, aside from actual cruelty). They're beautiful creatures, and I'm glad Buddy has found a home where he'll be cared for properly and have a friend.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. You'll do him justice! And he'll open up in time too!
My little Scooter -- was very very VERY shy on day 1. He's still flaky in some ways (ingrained trauma; he may never overcome it), but I know he's grown attached to me and screams for my attention from time to time.

2 parrots is plenty for me, that's for sure!
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amitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. How sweet you are. Please do post updates soon. n/t
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for helping that sweet guy.
Gawd ... People who neglect animals ... I have no words for how angry I get ... :grr:
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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. Good for both of you. You are a honey.
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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
11. I decided I didn't want a bird until
I could spend the right amount of time and care on him. I learned what it takes, and it takes a lot.I applaud you for taking on this project, and look forward to your progress reports. Give him a kiss for me.
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Oak2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Good for you
Edited on Sun May-03-09 12:27 AM by Oak2004
Yes a bird takes far, far more than most people can even imagine. Before I got my first bird I spent six months researching the decision, and even then I spent the first week in a state of shock at the reality of parrot ownership.

But I object to calling Buddy a "project". Once one has crossed that magical line and become a "bird person", no bird is a project. They're all little feathery people. And Buddy has a very sweet personality, astoundingly, for all that he has gone through. Us humans don't deserve him. But someone bred him and someone else sold him at a profit to someone who should never have been allowed to own him, and so we have this precious creature our species does not deserve.

I know cat and dog people speak of their animals as little people, but birds really are that way. A parrot bears an uncanny resemblance, at least as far as raw intelligence, emotional range, and in many respects the demands made upon their humans, to a child. "Parrot = three year old" is really a good comparison. If you are up to having a three year old in the house (one that won't grow up and can't be sent to preschool), you're up to keeping a parrot. If you're up to keeping a parrot, then you also get the rich rewards of a relationship with a three year old, with the twist that it's actually an alien intelligence with a three year old personality, a six year old IQ, and (often) the ability to speak English.

You haven't known cross-species manipulation 'till a small green creature, who has just bit you hard in the nipple, looks up at you as you're about to put him in the cage for time-out, and plaintively pleads: "mommy, please don't hurt me!" :)

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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. *dies*
OMG, I would just melt.

I think when i'm about 50, I'll do it.
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Oak2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Of course I didn't put that bird in time out :)
-50 behavior points for biting mommy *there*
-10 behavior points for flagrant manipulation
+1000 behavior points and a reassuring kiss for successful execution of a flagrant manipulation ;)
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sammythecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
13. Bless you for your kindness
There are a hell of a lot of people that have pets (and children) that shouldn't. It's a real shame and pity. Your last paragraph is exactly right.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
14. The poor thing!

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Oak2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
15. Just to give people some idea about Buddy's species
Edited on Sun May-03-09 12:41 AM by Oak2004
Willie the hero parrot is a Quaker.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/0...

And to give people a far darker look into how some people see Quaker parrots:

http://www.olgamespot.com/shooter/pl-11-11065-The_Parro...
http://www.google.com/ig/directory?hl=en&type=gadgets&u...

That "game" of parrot "hunting", where Quakers are portrayed as destructive and invasive (erroneously, but the disproven myth the "game" perpetuates has led to the real-world deaths of many birds, both wild and captive) has enraged a whole lot of parrot lovers, and especially, of course, Quaker lovers.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
17. Aw, bless.
For both of you. I'm so glad you took him in, and that he's got such a good friend in his life now.

I hope you post pictures when he's feeling up to posing. No matter what his condition, I bet he's a handsome fellow.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
19. Good on ya!
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